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“Mobile-friendly” now officially reads as Mobile-first with the news that Google is officially rolling out its plan to use the mobile version of your sites content to index its pages. Mobile versions will also be used to understand its structured data and to show snippets from the site in the Google search results.

Mobile-first indexing means Google will use the mobile version of a web page “for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” the company writes in a blog post.

Since 2015 the majority of Googles users (more than 60%) are browsing on mobile. Obviously that trend is not going away any time soon.

It makes sense that Google targets them with a very positive and valuable user experience.

I’d be hard pressed to understand how a site that isn’t prepared can succeed.

 

It Would Be Silly to Ignore Google

According to Net Market Share the global marketing share percentage, in terms of the use of Search Engines heavily favoured Google throughout 2017 – averaging a net share of 74.54%.  This again reinforces the fact that Google is the market leader.

Given that Google owns so much market share in internet searches, businesses need to be paying careful attention to how this plays out.

NorthIQ tells our clients not to worry too much about individual phrase rankings, but we also know the incredible value that organic search traffic can bring to a business. Do it right and it can be a game changer.

However, this could drastically impact some of those organic results, especially if their site has not been optimized for mobile.

What is the Google Index?

One common misconception people have of Google is that when they use Google, they are searching the web. They aren’t searching the web at all. They are searching Google’s index status of the web.

In other words, Google has a very particular way of organizing the information on the web and selecting what’s important and what’s not. When you place a search the results you generate is Googles version of the truth.

In the past Google used a sites desktop content as the de facto content on that site. They are now changing it to use the mobile content instead.

Small Businesses are at Risk of Being Invisible

Prospecting for NorthIQ has given me the opportunity to looks at thousand of sites in the small business space that we like to play in.

I am extremely worried that many small businesses will not be ready and will pay the price.

All types of companies may be affected, from small one-person businesses to larger companies whose digital presence is immature.

I see many small business web sites that were designed in 2009 or 2011 and which fulfilled a need at the time but now are largely antiquated.

I even see new sites designed by “experts” that are not mobile-friendly. Probably because the business owner wasn’t sure of the necessary questions to ask when they contracted the work.

How Do I Tell if My Site is Mobile-friendly?

You can easily tell by plugging it in here https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.

If your result looks like this you might want to contact us. NorthIQ are experts in building a digital presence that include mobile-friendly as well as other search-related considerations. We’re damn good at it, plus we will leave you with a website that is easy to update, and give you the tools to keep it current.

You Still Have Time

Google tells the webmasters of sites that are not yet mobile-optimized to not panic yet. “If you only have desktop content, you will continue to be represented in our index,” assures the Google announcement.

With that said, there is no word on when the roll-out will be complete and it’s important to get ahead of the curve now while you have time.

Craig Oliphant is a marketing expert with over a decade of experience in digital marketing. He has built online campaigns for multi-million dollar companies, and seen massive returns from very small investments. He has figured out ways to achieve repeatable results.